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Daily Update: Forbidden Door preview, Orange Cassidy, John Cena

Dave Meltzer talks the news of the day.
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Daily Update

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This Week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

  • Among the highlights:
  • Match and performer of the week
  • How Stephanie McMahon went from leaving the company to CEO in a few weeks
  • Who they say put her in charge
  • Update on the Vince McMahon story
  • The departure of John Laurinaitis
  • Talent on Laurinaitis and Bruce Prichard
  • Settling the Oliver Luck lawsuit
  • Law firms looking into WWE and what to look for in that story
  • Preview of Forbidden Door
  • Forbidden Door ticket demand
  • Comparisons with a WCW show and how that show did
  • Upcoming WWE PPV and injury news
  • A look back at the 20 year history of Impact Wrestling
  • Business notes on Slammiversary
  • The crossover among WWE and AEW fans to those who ordered Slammiversary
  • Why this year's G1 tournament looks very different from the past
  • Full coverage of Triplemania including business notes
  • UFC coverage for this week's show
  • A look at the late Tim White and his memories of his time with Andre the Giant
  • A look at the career of the late Dave Hebner
  • Ratings for all the shows as well as how the segments did
  • Stardom PPV card this week
  • Last week's major All Japan show
  • The last matches of Keiji Muto
  • Yet another thing negatively impacts New Japan financially
  • This past week's NJPW shows and the next and return of Kushida
  • Upcoming US dates and lineups
  • AEW champion working on big New Japan show in July
  • Update on the health of Jim Duggan
  • More on Ric Flair retirement match
  • Japanese star writes English language book
  • Daughter of 90s star debuts
  • A look at Will Ospreay vs. Nick Wayne
  • Impact TV notes
  • More on Blood & Guts
  • Ticket sales for AEW & WWE shows coming up
  • Story behind what was supposed to happen in the Hardy match
  • More AEW injuries
  • Streaming numbers
  • Dana White talks about Nate Diaz
  • Lots of new UFC fights
  • John Cena's drawing power
  • NXT UK taping note
  • Weekend house show reports
  • Streaming numbers
  • International ratings notes

This Week's Retro Observer Newsletter:

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Sunday News Update

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  • Bryan and I will be up tonight talking Forbidden Door, Smackdown and the rest of the news from the past few days for Wrestling Observer Radio. Garrett Gonzales and I previewed the show, talked about all the changes in WWE and a lot about the issues in AEW on a show we did yesterday.
  • Today is Forbidden Door, a very unique and snake-bit PPV show from Chicago. While more than 15,000 tickets were out as of today, the secondary market has collapsed. At this moment there are two tickets out for $4 but quite a few out for $5. The last number of secondary market tickets out was 1,200+. Keep in mind the last WWE show in Chicago had huge late interest and secondary buys and this one was the opposite, huge early interest and then the interest level seems to have fallen greatly.
  • Regarding the mystery opponent of Zack Sabre Jr., the Kambi odds have Claudio Castagnoli as the favorite at -250, Johny Gargano is at +160 and you can bet on anyone but those two at +275. The booking of this match is interesting. If the goal is to make Sabre vs. Bryan Danielson a major match down the line, you don't want to beat Sabre. If it is Castagnoli, I can't see him losing his debut, but it is still a WWE guy who was rarely pushed against one of New Japan's top stars. Then again, if Castagnoli is going to New Japan at some point, it then makes sense for that market to beat Sabre. A draw could be a compromise but Tony Khan does very few time limit draws and even with a great match, the crowd may react badly to a time limit draw even if the match is classic.
  • Kenny Omega in Sports Illustrated on the show: “I can safely say there is zero chance it will be me,” Omega said. “But the replacement is going to leave people very happy. I can’t see people being disappointed by this legitimately handpicked replacement by Bryan Danielson.”
  • The Friday news update has the Kambi star ratings you can bet on. Based on those numbers, from a wrestling standpoint, the show should be great.
  • This is the card. There are three preshow matches from 4-5 p.m:
  • Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi vs. QT Marshall & Aaron Solo. I can't imagine Goto & Yoshi-Hashi losing but the match doesn't need to be on the show.
  • Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Desperado. Desperado is one of the best guys around, but the match story here should be Lee & Strickland and getting along.
  • Billy & Austin & Colten Gunn & Max Caster vs, Alex Coughlin & Kevin Knight & The DKC & Yuya Uemura. The AEW team is listed at -200.
  • Young Bucks & Hikuleo vs. Shingo Takagi & Sting & Darby Allin - Actually this should be great. The Bucks and Sting is something new. Takagi is one of the best wrestlers in the world. Hikuleo feels like the most likely person to lose the fall. Hiromu Takahashi had a fever and was not allowed to fly in, and so the eight-man became a six-man with El Phantasmo out of the match. The Bullet Club team is listed at -150, so we'll see.
  • Eddie Kingston & Shota Umino & Wheeler Yuta vs. Chris Jericho & Minoru Suzuki & Sammy Guevara. The winning team gets the advantage of coming in with the man advantage first in Wednesday's blood and guts, which makes the Jericho team the favorite. On paper this looks very good, Kingston-Jericho is a big storyline and it does have storyline ramifications. Jericho's team is a -300 favorite.
  • Pac vs. Miro vs. Malakai Black vs. Clark Connors to crown the first All-Atlantic champion. The match is hurt by the injury to Tomohiro Ishii, that put Connors in. This is a huge match and night for Connors, really the biggest match so far in his career. Miro is the favorite followed by Black. Connors is certainly expected to lose the fall. This has potential to be a great match.
  • Thunder Rosa vs. Toni Storm for the AEW women's title. Rosa is a -500 favorite so the oddsmakers don't see much of a shot for a title change.
  • Will Ospreay vs. Orange Cassidy for the U.S. title. Ospreay is a -1000 favorite, the biggest on the show. I think this is among the biggest matches of Cassidy's career. Ospreay is one of the guys who always has a great match but with Cassidy he'll have to change from his usual style to fit into Cassidy's unique strengths.
  • FTR vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O'Khan vs. Roppongi Vice with both the ROH and IWGP tag team titles at stake. FTR is a -300 favorite to win both tiles. Roppongi Vice is +300 and Cobb & O'Khan are +400. The talent is there since FTR have been on fire.
  • Zack Sabre Jr. vs. ? The mystery guy is listed as a -400 favorite. They also predict a ****3/4 star rating for the match, so evidently the feeling, since Castagnoli is the betting favorite, is they think the two will have a classic.
  • Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada vs. Adam Page & Adam Cole for the IWGP title. White is a solid -200 favorite to retain. Everyone else has long odds. I think the expectation is for Cole to lose, but you also want some unpredictability on the show.
  • Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the interim AEW title. Moxley is a major -600 favorite to win the title. Tanahashi has had a number of classics this year and Moxley
  • will be motivated since this is a dream match for him. They will also be on late, on a shoq that will likely have a lot of outstanding matches.
  • Orange Cassidy is changing his entrance theme to "Jane," the song he used while wrestling on the independents.
  • We're looking for your thoughts on both Forbidden Door tonight at the Stardom cage match PPV show in Nagoya, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match from each show to dave@wrestlingobserver.com
  • We're also looking for reports from these shows:
  • *WWE last night in Abilene & Amarillo
  • *NXT last night in Venice, FL
  • *Defy last night in Seattle
  • *WWE tonight in Odessa, TX and Hidalgo, TX.
  • Raw tomorrow in Laredo, TX is basically sold out, having passed the 8,000 mark over the weekend. There was less than 3,800 tickets out when they announced John Cena for the show. One should expect a big television number as well, but there is nobody who moved tickets for a show like Cena did here in months.
  • For the first time in recent memory, not one thing all week from wrestling, MMA or boxing cracked the top 20 Google searches. That is exceedingly rare for a UFC show. I've also noted that Google searches, like television viewing, seems way down across the board.
  • In last night's UFC main event with Mateusz Gamrot winning a straight 48-47 decision over Arman Tsarukyan, all three judges gave Gamrot the last three rounds to give him the win. However, media scores were 68 percent for Tsarukyan, with most 48-47 and some 49-46.
  • Based on the graphic on Smackdown, both the men and women's MITB matches will end with seven competitors. It will be interesting to see if they add Riddle to the match tomorrow after he lost the qualifier this past week.
  • The Miesha Tate vs. Lauren Murphy fight scheduled for this coming Saturday's UFC 276 PPV show is off as Murphy pulled out. There is no word as to why.
  • Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen, who won the vacant NXT UK tag team titles at the tapings last week, which aired on Thursday, will have the belts on NXT Tuesday and talk about their championship win. So that will be part of their U.S. storyline.
  • Dax Harwood explains to the New York Post why he did a tweet supporting Sasha Banks at
  • I have not yet seen this match, but hopefully will shortly, but people are raving about the Tam Nakano vs. Natsupoi cage match on today's Stardom PPV show from Nagoya. Their cage match rules are that once you score a pin, then you have to escape the cage. You can't escape the cage without first scoring a pin.

Other Notes

  • Dr. Brad Balukjian is driving around the country for the next nine weeks for a 2024 book to be published called "The Six Pack," about the myth and realities of pro wrestling and the real life of the pro wrestlers of the 80s. There was an an article about this talking with Nelson Sweglar, who headed production of television during this period.
  • SHWA from last night in Western Australia: Great George b Jarred Slate to win title, Blake Walker b James Draker, Axxton b Chadwick Jackson in a last man standing match, Julian Ward b Kiel Steria, Chris Target b Taylor King to win SHWA title, Cat Collins won 30 man Rumble (thanks to Kevin Chiat)
  • EPW on 7/16 in Perth, Western Australia has Adam Brooks vs. Julian Ward.
  • The New York Times has an article on craft beers and independent wrestling
  • (thanks to Barry Werner)
  • Michelle Cooper, who wrestles as Jewels Malone, announced her retirement from pro wrestling.
  • Nikki Bella talks with the New York Post about being in a celebrity golf affair.
  • House of Glory from last night in Jamaica, NY: Charles Mason b Homicide to keep the Crown Jewels title, Natalia Markova b Masha Slamovich, Evander James b Michael Fayne,KC Navarro won five-way over Mantequilla, Nolo Kitano, Encore, Itching and Joey Silva, Carlos Ramirez b Ken Broadway, Low Ki b Lince Dorado, Dragon Lee & Dralistico DCOR Jey Lyon & Midas Black, Jacob Fatu b Jonah. (thanks to Shannon Walsh)
  • Total Kaos Wrestling from Friday night in Taylor, MI: TJ Meyer b James Alexander,Trevor Straud won over Mikey Mourner, Noctambulo, Gio Bronco and Nick Green, Father Marquis b Solo, Brutus Atwell b Tully Bertorelli, DBA b Kenny Steele, Madman Fulton b Sean Tyler, Dread King Logan & Zach Thomas b Critical Content, Jake Crist b Malcolm Monroe III (thanks to Leonard Brand)